Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ra'iatea: The place where they banned bikes for visitors (also known as the Sacred Island)

I have to say that this was my least favorite island. It's mostly an administrative island so there isn't a lot else going on. I heard it is very beautiful in the mountains but guides will only go if there are at least 2 and so I found myself out of luck. The also banned bike rentals for visitors and the island is huge so it is quite impossible to get around without anything...can we say forced car rental conspiracy. Too bad every car on the island is a stick shift and I am apparently the only person that does't know what to do with that. The nice people at the hotel snuck me a bike though, after I was followed around all afternoon by "guide" who kept trying to take me into the mountains. 

 A church built in front of a Marae using the altar stones. 

Every time I ventured into a valley to get closer to a distant waterfall, my view would actually get worse. It was my week of chasing mirages. 

The 1.5 hour kayak journey to this deserted Motu was not disappointing though. 

I met a lovely couple Ian and Pennie from New Zealand and they let me tag along on their car ride around the island so I could see the most sacred site in all of the South Pacific the Marae Taputaputatea.